Regardless of whether or not you celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’re pretty sure you still have a favorite rom-com that you love to curl up on the sofa and watch.
So, with love in the air, we thought we’d investigate which rom-com is most popular in which state.
Fun fact: According to IMDb, the most popular romantic comedy at this moment in time is The Royal Treatment. A new release for Netflix in 2022, perfectly timed for Valentine’s Day.
The plot follows New York hairdresser, Izzy, who jumps at the chance to work at the wedding of a charming prince. As the wedding draws closer, Izzy and Thomas’s relationship builds, but will the wedding still go ahead?
However, if that doesn’t tickle your romantic taste buds, we have a whole list of rom-coms that might be for you this Valentine’s day.
Some states are rom-com crazy
Out of all of the states, the ones that cropped up at the top of the list for more than one movie are Alaska, California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming.
In the District of Columbia, residents are enjoying a mixture of movies, both old and new, favoring the likes of Legally Blonde, Sex in the City 2, Just One of the Guys, and Notting Hill. It also seems like DC residents enjoy romantic Christmas classics a little more than most, with The Holiday being a fan-favorite and Love Actually being the top choice, proving that love really is all around this Valentine’s.
Over in Alaska, people are enjoying Valentine’s day classic, The Proposal, starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. Alaskans also enjoy some newer releases from 2019 including Yesterday (featuring songs from The Beatles) and Marriage Story, a film where a couple’s divorce pushes them to their most personal and creative extremes.
Meanwhile, in Delaware, Coming to America, the 1988 rom-com classic starring Eddie Murphy is still a popular choice, along with other movies that span over two whole decades, The 40-year-old Virgin (2005), Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011), and a new release for 2021, Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui, (a love story between a bodybuilder and Zumba teacher).
In Utah, the winning movie choice is up for debate. Is Shrek really a romantic comedy? You decide… Nevertheless, animated movies seem to be a real hit in Utah, including the 2019 version of Aladdin, 2010’s Tangled, and 1997’s Hercules. Other movies trying for the top spot in Utah include La La Land, She’s All That, Cinderella (2021), About Time, and Singin’ in the Rain.
Some states can’t get enough of the classics
The majority of the most popular rom-coms are recent, but there are also a handful of older classics that have made it to the top.
- Grease (1978) – The ultimate love story between Olivia Newton-John (Sandy) and John Travolta (Danny) in a high-school summer romance, loved by fans in Vermont and Wisconsin.
- Sixteen Candles (1984) – High-school sophomore Samatha has her upcoming 16th birthday to look forward to. However, not only does her family forget her birthday but she suffers almost every embarrassment possible after her private quiz answers end up in the wrong hands. Those living in Illinois seem to enjoy this classic (perhaps because, as we’ll see shortly, it was filmed there).
- Just One of the Guys (1985) – Both Michigan and Minnesota are devoted to this film. It sees the main character, Terry Griffith, lose at the chance of winning a school writing competition. Convinced it’s because she’s a girl, she decides to take things into her own hands by moving schools and changing her appearance to look like a boy.
- Real Genius (1985) – The state of Nebraska is a big fan of this science fiction rom-com, which follows the story of two teenagers who develop a laser that the government intends to use as a weapon.
- Coming to America (1988) – The most popular film by far, Coming to America, which stars Eddie Murphy, was a fan favorite in five states, including Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, and South Carolina. This was the oldest film to reach the top, proving that sometimes you really can’t beat a classic.
- Pretty Woman (1990) – It’s no surprise that this rom-com classic once again features as one of the top-rated movies, this time in Massachusetts.
- Life is Beautiful (1997) – Watched in Florida and Nevada, this movie illustrates the atrocities of the Holocaust, following the story of a small Jewish-Italian family. The father makes out to his son that the concentration camps are just a game to distract him from the horrific realities they face.
- As Good as it Gets (1997) – Jack Nicholson, an obsessive-compulsive writer of romantic fiction finds love with the only waitress in his local diner that can bear to deal with his rude ways.
Some states are keeping things close to home
A few states favored movies that were shot in their own backyard, including:
- California for Clueless: Filmed in the heart of Los Angeles, California, in a Beverley Hills high school, popular teen, Cher (Alicia Silverstone), sees herself as a matchmaker for both teachers and students alike. But it all gets too much when one of her makeover projects for the new student, Tai, leaves Cher missing out on being the most popular kid in school.
- Hawaii for 50 First Dates: The father of all romantic comedies, Adam Sandler (Henry) sets his sights on Drew Barrymore (Lucy), who suffers from short-term memory loss (amnesia). Filmed in the beautiful setting of Oahu, Hawaii, Henry spends each day trying to win Lucy over and over again.
- Illinois for Sixteen Candles: Filmed in Chicago, Illinois, soon-to-be sixteen-year-old, Samantha’s birthday plans are scuppered by her sister whose wedding is taking place the following day.
- New York for Enchanted: The story of Enchanted is a compilation of a number of fairytales, including Snow White, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty. The modern take on these classic tales sees Giselle (Amy Adams) thrown from the fairy-tale land of Andalasia to the place where there are ‘no happy ever afters’, New York City.
- Pennsylvania for Silver Linings Playbook: Starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro, this romantic comedy won’t disappoint this Valentine’s. Filmed across Philadelphia, Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) spends time in a mental institution and ends up living with his parents. With the help of Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), he hopes to connect with his wife but only if she gets something from him in return.
- Washington for 10 Things I Hate About You: Based on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, this rom-com from the late 90s stars Julia Stiles and the late Heath Ledger.
One thing’s for sure, there are enough rom-coms here to keep you busy way beyond Valentine’s Day…
Which is your favorite and why? Comment below!
Using IMDb’s list of the 80 most popular romantic comedy movies (at the time of writing), we searched each title individually on Google Trends to find which state scored the highest. The top result is the designated title for that state. If any state came up twice, we used the title that was more popular over the last 12 months. Any title that didn’t come up as a topic on Google Trends (i.e. only a search term) was omitted to ensure a fair comparison.
Researcher: Charlotte Bond